1. What is the innovation?
A smartphone app for dealing with stress, low moods and anxiety. Smartphones are ubiquitous and great for use in-the-moment. However, many of the available mental health apps don’t follow evidence-based guidelines. They also don’t provide immediate, accessible support for a variety of mood and anxiety problems. The MoodMission app seeks to address these short-comings.
2. What benefits does the innovation bring?
MoodMission offers a huge range of evidence-based strategies. It tailors suggestions of these strategies to how the user is feeling. MoodMission provides users with the answer to the question, “I feel like this, so what should I do?” No other apps offer this sort of immediate and relevant support.
3. What commercial success and/or benefit to society has it achieved?
Depression is the leading cause of disability and global disease burden worldwide (World Health Organization, 2017). MoodMission provides individuals with a way to deal with stress, anxiety, and low moods. This can prevent and treat a wide range of depressive and anxiety disorders. It can help everyone, regardless of their mental health status or diagnosis.
Research has shown that the app has very good usability (Bakker, Kazantzis, Rickwood, & Rickard, 2017), engagement can produce mental health and wellbeing improvements in a community sample (Bakker & Rickard, in press), and it performed better than other mental health apps in a randomised controlled trial (Bakker, Kazantzis, Rickwood, & Rickard, in press).
MoodMission was funded by two successful crowdfunding campaigns on the Australian-based website Pozible. The first raised over $20,000 from 207 pledgers for iOS development, and the second raised over $8,000 from 122 pledgers for Android development.
MoodMission won the top prize in the Monash Generator’s Accelerator program in 2016, awarded in total $31,000 towards developing the app’s features.
The app has had over 50,000 downloads all around the world. In addition to supporting these individuals, it will continue to produce research data that will further the field of clinical psychology and mental health treatments.
4. What lessons learnt can you share?
Crowdfunding was incredibly useful for community building and generating feedback on concepts and prototypes.
Consulting scientific evidence should always be the first step before creating something to ensure that it follows evidence-based guidelines.
Outcome data should be collected throughout a health project as a useful success metric.
Be fearless in asking for support. Asking is a positive psychological exercise that results in net gains for all.
5. How many new jobs has this innovation created?
One so far!